In line with the implementation of Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP), the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has started planting of fruit trees in selected Schools across the Metropolis. In all, five thousand (5,000) fruit trees will be planted as part of measures to enhance food security, encourage consumption of fruits, protect schools land and mitigate some impacts of climate change. Planting of fruit trees forms part of activities under the first thematic focus of the project which seeks to among others, address the problems of rapid urbanization, climate change, exclusion, unemployment, irregular migration and preparedness to battle infectious disease outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The categories of fruit trees to be planted among the thirty (30) Senior and Junior High schools are Mango, Coconut, Avocado, Orange, Tangerine, Soursop, Guava and Pawpaw. The beneficiary senior high schools are Sekondi College, Archbishop Porter’s, Fijai, ST John’s, Adiembra, Ahantaman Girls, Methodist, Diabenekrom and Bompeh. The basic and Junior High Schools are Ntaamakrom M.A. Model, Mbredane M.A., St James Anglican, Mampong M.A., Kansaworado Catholic, Diabenekrom Catholic, Nkroful M.A., Gethsemane M.A., Ketan Catholic, Ketan Anglican, Ahinkofikrom M.A., Essipong M.A., Twin-City Special, Kojokrom M.A., Essikado M.A., Essikado Catholic, Garrison, Airforce Station, Bedu-Addo Methodist and Adakope First Baptist Basic.

As part of activities to commence the planting, a stakeholders meeting was organized for the reps of beneficiary schools to deliberate on the schedule for planting, site preparation, protection and general maintenance of the trees till they mature. Coordinator for the programme who is also the Metro Officer for Parks and Gardens, Mr. Isaac Ephirim led the discussions at the stakeholders meeting. He highlighted the maturity period for each of the selected fruits and the various support from the project implementation team to ensure that every seedling to be planted survives. Mr. Ephirim also noted the various nutritional value of fruits to the health and overall well-being of students and pupils.

He said that fruits boost immunity, helps reduce obesity, cleanse the body, ensure better energy and performance. He added that consuming fruits on a regular basis can help in keeping the energy levels of children high which will mean better concentration and performance in academics, sports, and other spheres. ‘Fruits are high in fiber which ensures properly functioning of a child’s digestive system, provides ample amounts of vitamins and minerals to the body, have fewer calories fat, no cholesterol and therefore do not compromise with a child’s health’ he said.

The distribution and planting of seedlings at all the schools are almost complete. At the Sekondi College, the Assistant Headmaster in-charge of administration, Mr. Kingsley Yankey planted the first fruit tree to formally commence the exercise in the school. He commended the TCSPP Team for the laudable idea to encourage planting and consumption of fruits. He pledged the school’s commitment to ensure adequate protection of all seedlings to be planted within their premises. He encouraged heads of all the participating schools to ensure that they adequately protect and nurture their seedlings to become useful to the schools.